On 11th Ave, Semillon now living the Capitol Hill French bakery dream

Capitol Hill — land of dreams. Last week, CHS told you about two brothers living the Capitol Hill dream of owning their own neighborhood bar — Cure is under new ownership. Another Hill ownership change comes with another Hill dream — but this time, the happy thoughts are about leaving a life in tech behind for a new life of French pastries and breads.

“I’ve been baking all of my life. Eating some of it — but not all of it,” Debbie Nam tells CHS about her big leap in taking over a bakery and cafe space on Capitol Hill and starting her own business — Semillon.

“I’ve always enjoyed the process,” she says. Continue reading

Chop Suey shooting update: No arrests as owner speaks out on gun violence

Seattle Police continue to investigate last week’s gunfire at Capitol Hill music venue Chop Suey in which two people were shot. Police tell us there have been no arrests while Chop Suey’s ownership has spoken out on Wednesday night’s gun violence.

“We are proud of our staff and security team and stand by their continued efforts to ensure the safety of patrons, artists, and concert goers that frequent Chop Suey,” Erin Carnes tells CHS. “It was indeed a rare occurrence for our location, however the unfortunate reality of senseless violence is alarmingly present in our community and can happen anywhere and at any time.” Continue reading

Two shot after bullets fly at Chop Suey — UPDATE

Clubs and bars around E Madison were cleared Wednesday night as police searched for possible victims after a bout of gunfire at the Chop Suey nightclub, according to witnesses and SPD radio dispatches.

According to radio reports, police were not able to find a victim reported to be in the club’s bathroom. Police did find a bloody shirt at the scene and a bullet hole in the club’s back door. UPDATE: A reported teenage victim with a gunshot wound to the arm was located at nearby Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill’s urgent care facility. UPDATE x2: Around 11:45 PM, another victim who said he had been shot near Chop Suey was reported at a medical facility south of Seattle.

Residents and club goers reported hearing multiple shots around 9:45 PM. There were also reported shots nearby a few blocks away on E Madison. Police were setting up crime scenes across the area including inside the club to collect evidence and interview witnesses. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Psychic Boutique — 23rd Ave neighborhood psychic has spiritual, California connection

On the corner of 23rd and Madison, away from the busy bars of the Hill, there’s a window with jars of crystallized salts for chakra balancing and a large sign offering discounts for palm readings. The Capitol Hill Psychic Boutique has been around for six years and it belongs to neighborhood psychic Ashley Adams.

Adams has felt her psychic abilities since birth and began reading tarot cards before she ever learned how to read a book. The talent spans back through her maternal bloodline. Adams’ great grandmother is well known in Santa Monica where young Adams sat watching and eventually performing the readings on the pier. It is such a calling that Adams didn’t finish high school, leaving to go continue her family business.

“I felt like I was able to help people get to the next step in their life, get past their fears,” Adams said. “I felt more connected to this path than any other path.”

Now, 26-year-old Adams travels back and forth between her business at the nexus of the Central District and Capitol Hill and her other one in Burbank called Lola Psychic Shop, named after her mother. Adam’s great grandma was a healer, a psychic and clairvoyant but Adams herself specializes in chakras, spiritual healing and past presence. Adams is not a clairvoyant.

That doesn’t mean she can’t talk to the dead, though. Continue reading

Central Co-op celebrates with birthday pie… charts

Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op celebrated its 39th birthday on Monday with a little party on Broadway. There wasn’t any cake. But there was a lot of pie.

The cooperative was on the street in front of Seattle Central to share birthday pie — edible pie charts, to be exact — to help illustrate its place in the community and the economy:

The edible “pie charts” represent the result of an economic impact report conducted by Civic Economics, a financial analysis agency, showing the cooperative returns more than 52 percent of its revenue back to the local economy. Central Co-op first opened its doors on October 16, 1978. Its guiding principles including concern for community have been an important part of the organization’s decision-making process for the past 39 years.

“We are proud to be leaders in our community when it comes to making an impact on the lives of our workers and shoppers. We feel very fortunate to have been able to be so responsive to our members’ needs over the last 39 years,” Central Co-op CEO Garland McQueen said in an announcement of the pop-up. “We look forward to continuing this work for another 40 years and beyond.”

The public relations push and free pie comes as the co-op moves forward from its decision to drop out of bidding for the anchor tenant spot in the Capitol Hill Station development and wrinkles in its takeover of a cooperative in Tacoma. Meanwhile, the grocery market is busy giving its E Madison home a makeover.


Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate a as medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion to be considered for Seattle landmark protections

With more than 125 years of history in Seattle, one of the largest black churches in Seattle will soon find out if its 1962-built home qualifies for landmark protection. The Mount Zion buildings at 19th and Madison will be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Board in September:

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Mount Zion Baptist Church for landmark status

SEATTLE (August 4, 2017) – Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1634 19th Avenue) located in Central Area on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nomination. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. onSeptember 5:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

You can also submit comments via email.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.” The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine. 24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home.

As development on East Madison has risen around it, Mount Zion has also been making longterm plans for redevelopment. The church has also recently sold off nearby property. In 2015, CHS was there as Mount Zion celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The full nomination document is below. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dad’s dedication and a new generation — 30+ years of El Gallito

Elizabeth Lopez didn’t have to think long about what’s kept El Gallito open for so long.

“My dad’s dedication,” she said.

That dedication has kept the restaurant open since the early 1980s. Refugio Lopez was born in Mexico, but spent most of his life in the United States, living in Texas and Chicago before coming to Seattle in 1978. Lopez thinks it was 1983 or 84, when he opened El Gallito (Spanish for the little rooster). Refugio retired 13 years ago.

He brought the recipes with him from Mexico, Lopez said, and most of them, including classics like the enchilada sauce, haven’t changed since the day the place opened.

Like many small business owners, he involved his children, and Elizabeth and her brother, Ole, have worked at El Gallito since they were in high school. She grew up in the neighborhood, and her mother still lives on Capitol Hill, though Elizabeth has moved to Leschi and her brother to Madison Valley. Lopez said that as she’s gotten older, she’s grown to appreciate the business more, particularly how it can be good to be the boss, and make her own hours.

“We grew up, pretty much, in the restaurant,” she said. “I enjoy it more as an adult than I did as a kid.” Continue reading

After plan went ‘sideways,’ SDOT says will find a way to build E Union protected bike lanes

Protected bike lanes on E Union won’t fall through the cracks. Seattle Department of Transportation officials say they are working on a plan for adding a protected area on the busy street for riders after the upgrade dropped out of the Madison Bus Rapid Transit plan and was also left off the drawing board for the city’s Bike Master Plan “five-year” projects.

The plan for E Union’s protected bike lane addition “very plainly went sideways,” SDOT chief of staff Genesee Adkins said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee as she introduced a session reviewing the department’s bike plan projects (PDF). Continue reading

Central Co-op set for an E Madison facelift

Front Entry Elevation_132in sign Revised layoutCentral Co-op is getting a makeover, but nothing on the inside is going to change.

The building’s landlord, Madison Crossing, is working on some improvements to the exterior. Construction is expected to start within the next few weeks, and should last about five months, assuming there are no delays in permitting or construction, the co-op’s Suzanne Schultz told CHS. The building opened in 1998, and the Co-op, moved in shortly after.

Schultz said the store plans to remain open during its normal business hours throughout the construction. She said the interior layout and selection of products will not change, nor will the look of the inside of the store.

“Most of the work is not going to be happening in our store,” she said. Continue reading